Introducing a new application can be challenging, especially if your team is less than tech savvy (or inclined). Even those that do "get" new technology, helping them see the benefit of the application isn't always clear.
Here are a few things to remember when working with your team on adopting a new application:
How does the new application fit with the vision of the firm?
When implementing a new decision, it's important to tie it to something bigger than just that individual decision, whether it's a decision around technology, firm management, hiring, etc. In this case, let's talk about new technology adoption. If your vision is to provide high quality, consistent, empathetic accounting & tax services to Pittsburgh-based SMB's, so that they become more profitability and leave a bigger impact in the community, then this vision needs to be at the forefront of the firm. When new team members are onboarded, it's what they hear. If you don't have a vision, mission, and core values, we highly recommend working with your team to create them. These also inform your hiring decisions, and new team members agree that the mission, vision, and values are important to them as well. So when you are ready to implement a new tool, you mention how this individual decision and application will help you achieve the firm vision. This helps your team understand WHY this decision has been made. Once they can better understand the context of the decision, the easier it is for them to adopt it.
Who is the internal champion?
In a typically firm, not all team members are equal. Some are more eager to adopt new tech, others are not. Your job is to find the internal, tech champion. You can even give them an internal role of helping with the selection, due diligence, and roll out process. The goal is that you need a staff or team members that can see the benefit and communicate it with the team, along with you. You're not going to be "in the trenches" all the time with your team, but having someone internally assist you with the decision is critical, as team questions and concerns are bound to come up (but not always communicated to you).
What were obstacles that came up in the past?
Finally, chances are if the team is resistant to the change, it is likely that a similar decision (at least in their mind), was made in the past and they feel that this is going to have the same outcome. Address their concerns, and talk about why this adoption should be different. If you felt the training was inadequate, work with your solution provider to schedule more team training. If you thought the team didn't have access to support, let your service provider know. They should be willing to work with you through these issues and help ensure your firm is successful in the adoption of the new application.
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